Queen Elizabeth II’s second son Prince Andrew did not appear at the prestigious Garter Day parade in Windsor on Monday, following a “family decision”, reportedly.
Instead, the 62-year-old Duke of York attended a special lunch and ceremony for the investment of new members of the Order of the Rabat, Buckingham Palace said.
Andrew has been largely sidelined from royal duties due to public outrage over his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Meanwhile, outside Windsor Castle, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was greeted by protesters as he arrived at the event.
Blair was named Britain’s oldest and longest-running knight of honor as a Knight’s Companion, but protesters chanted “Tony Blair, a war criminal” over his role in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
And Blair walked for the event with Valerie Amos, the first black member of Britain’s Cabinet, who became the first black person to be appointed to the system, established by King Edward III nearly 700 years ago.
Queen Elizabeth II, 96, did not take part in Monday’s parade due to mobility issues, but did attend the luncheon and inauguration ceremonies.
Monday’s procession was attended by her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, his eldest son Prince William and his wife Catherine.
Earlier this year Andrew settled a US civil sexual assault case brought by a woman who alleged that Epstein trafficked her for sex.
He claimed he had never met her. In an effort to limit reputational damage to the monarchy, he was stripped of his honorary military titles, effectively giving him no frontline royal role.
In late March, there was widespread public disapproval as he accompanied his ailing mother to her seat at her late husband Prince Philip’s memorial service.
This sparked speculation that he was seeking to return to his duties, including at recent public ceremonies that broke the record for 70 years on the throne.
But Andrew withdrew, officially due to catching Covid, and did not play a public role in the four-day platinum jubilee celebrations.
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